Acute involution in the tammar wallaby: Identification of genes and putative novel milk proteins implicated in mammary gland function

Elie Khalil, Matthew R Digby, Peter C Thomson, Christophe M Lefevre, Sonia L Mailer, Cate Pooley, Kevin R Nicholas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Marsupials provide a suitable alternative model to studying mammary gland involution. They have evolved a different reproductive strategy to eutherians, giving birth to an altricial young and secreting milk that changes in composition during lactation. In this study, we used a marsupial-specific EST microarray to identify 47 up-regulated genes during mammary gland involution in the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii). These include the pro-apoptotic tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily 21 (TNFRSF21) gene, whose expression in the mammary gland has not previously been reported. Genes encoding putative novel milk proteins which may protect the mammary gland from infection were also found to be up-regulated, such as amiloride binding protein 1 (ABP1), complement component 1QB (C1QB), complement component 4A (C4A) and colony stimulating factor 2 receptor beta (CSF2Rbeta). Our results show that the marsupial reproductive strategy was successfully exploited to identify genes and putative novel milk proteins implicated in mammary gland involution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)372 - 378
Number of pages6
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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